Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sports and politics

There are cases when sport and politics should be mixed, such as boycotting arrangements in certain countries etc. BUT when it comes to administration the two certainly do not go well together.

Over the past years those who love local soccer here in Zim (I am not one of them) have seen fierce infighting in ZIFA (Zimbabwe International Football Association) create a situation where nothing really works. Foreign trips for the national team have ended up with bloated "administrative" delegations sometimes amounting to more people than the team and sometimes these trips have been completely unorganised. Various fractions have tried to ouster each other, all in the search for control of the perceived power that comes with being chair of ZIFA.

Selection of the national team should in my opinion be left to the coach but oh no, all sorts of bureaucrats want a say in this and have a love for forming "advisory" committees that in practice leaves the coach powerless. So soccer has slowly but surely declined in professionalism at a pace faster than can ever be explained by the problems the country itself is having.

Almost the same scenario have been witnessed in tennis where Zimbabwe was doing really well a few years ago. And now cricket (certainly not a sport I appreciate, I still think that only English could come up with a sport that takes days to play, have frequent teabreaks and where you have to be an expert to understand who actually won when you look at the results) is walking (rather running) down the same path.

Well, as I often say - life in Zimbabwe can be many things but is rarely boring

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